Should You Remove a Tree Growing Close to a Powerline?

18 March 2019
 Categories: , Blog


Trees that grow too close to powerlines or that actually touch them are a hazard. They can cause power outages and may increase the chances of getting electric shocks.

If a tree on your property looks like it's going to spurt up too close to a powerline, then you need to find a way to keep the tree away from the line. In some cases, regular pruning may do the job for you; in other cases, removal is a better option.

When should you consider having the tree removed?

Trees That Are Hard to Control

Some trees are harder to keep at a safe distance from powerlines than others. They aren't as easy to prune down to keep them at safe levels. So, for example, if you're dealing with a palm tree, then pruning may not work in the long-term. Palms are hard to prune as they typically grow up rather than out. If a palm gets too tall, you might lose the top foliage and end up cutting down parts of the tree over time to check its growth. In this case, removing the whole tree may make more sense.

Trees That Grow Fast

While you can sometimes contain a tree that will grow too tall under powerlines by cutting it back periodically, some trees grow faster than others. If your tree gains height quickly, then you'll need to have it trimmed back regularly.

Bear in mind that you can't always do this yourself. Even if you don't mind having a go, you shouldn't work on a tree if it puts you close to a powerline. You need experienced tree specialists to do this kind of job. If you're going to have to call someone out frequently to trim back the tree, then the costs of each visit add up quickly. It may be more cost effective and less hassle to have the tree taken down.

Trees That Can't Withstand Bad Weather

As well as thinking about the growth of your tree, you should also check if it is likely to get damaged in high winds and storms. Some trees don't deal with this kind of damage well. This can happen with older trees that aren't aging well and with some species, like some gum trees, that aren't all that wind-hardy.

If a tree under a powerline falls in the wind or after a storm, then it could catch the powerline and take it down with it. So, if you aren't sure how secure the tree is, get advice on whether it should be removed.

If in doubt, contact local tree removalists. They can look at the tree and help you decide if it should come down.